Christmas Music Guide 2017
We at AGM are true lovers of the holiday gift-buying season and the wonderful Christian holiday of Christmas. And being fans of the holiday – we are therefore required to love all things Christmas music. We’re going to help you sift through all of this year’s holiday offerings, and hopefully you can find that one (or more if you so please) seasonal recording to make your holiday the best it possibly can be! These aren’t all Southern Gospel releases – but there may be a few here that you might find enjoyable as well!
Balsam Range – It’s Christmas Time (Mountain Home Records)
For fans of: bluegrass and Country Gospel similar to the likes of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Boxcars, and Blue Highway.
Great to have on while: baking cookies with the family!
Celebrate holiday cheer with a smoky mountain flair with this debut holiday recording from Gospel music’s premier bluegrass band Balsam Range. Holiday favorites galore compose this release, especially cuts like instrumental treat “It’s Christmas Time” and rollicking “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
Roger Talley – Christmas Piano Classics (Horizon Records)
For fans of: The Talleys and other instrumentalists like Jim Brickman, Michael W. Smith, Gerald Wolfe, and Jeff Collins.
Great to have on while: wrapping those last minute gifts!
While Roger Talley is mostly known as 1/3 of the Gospel trio The Talleys and a talented producer, he’s also an accomplished musician, most notably found on this beautiful instrumental release. Highlights include the melancholy Charlie Brown classic “Christmastime Is Here,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and worshipful “O Come O Come Emmanuel/O Come Let Us Adore Him.”
Ball Brothers – Christmastime, Volume 1 (Song Garden Music Group)
For fans of: multi-generational vocal ensembles that stretch musical boundaries like Brian Free & Assurance or NewSong.
Great to have on while: taking a mid-day stroll through the snow.
The reigning Absolutely Gospel Music Award Male Group of the Year the Ball Brothers’ Christmastime, Volume 1 finds this impressive group of guys stretching their musical chops once again on this fun and imaginative release. The guys sound like they’re having a blast on cuts like “Christmas Is,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” and acappella “Angels We Have Heard On High.”
Sisters – Sing Joy (Independent)
For fans of: impressive vocalists and moving harmonies that only a trio of sisters can provide.
Great to have on while: cooking the Christmas dinner!
Sisters continues their reign as the group with the tightest harmonies and most underrated voices with this stirring Christmas release. Sing Joy features a bevy of stirring arrangements and intricate harmonies, especially on cuts like “Your Presence For Christmas,” the rambunctious “Joy to the World,” and unforgettable arrangement of the CCM classic “We Are the Reason.”
The Perrys – A Very Perry Christmas (StowTown Records)
For fans of: traditional Southern Gospel with a family twist like the Collingsworth Family or The Hoppers.
Great to have on while: driving around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.
Anyone who’s remotely a fan of The Perrys will know the group’s unmatched love for all things Christmas. So, it comes as a big surprise that this is the first holiday release from the award winning mixed group. It’s easy to hear the love of the holiday on cuts like “Holly Jolly Christmas,” rarely covered “Christmas Time’s a Comin'” and Hawaiian treat “Mele Kalikimaka.”
Doug Anderson – Back Porch Christmas (StowTown Records)
For fans of: country crooners and progressive soloists like Devin McGlamery, Gordon Mote, and Joseph Habedank.
Great to have on while: mingling at your annual Christmas get-together!
A highlight of this Christmas season is easily Doug Anderson’s first Christmas recording Back Home Christmas. New country act 4th & Main joined Anderson on this release which features the stirring “Christmas In Heaven,” “The Manger and the Cross,” and “Still Makes Me Sing.”
Mylon Hayes Family – The Wonder of Christmas (Independent)
For fans of: straight up traditional Southern Gospel with tight family harmonies not unlike the group’s predecessors The Hayes Family.
Great to have on while: the kids are building the first snowman of the season.
The Wonder of Christmas is the debut Christmas recording from one of the industry’s fastest rising talents. The group really shines on more traditional fare like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Home For the Holidays,” and “O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.”
HIGHROAD – Wonder (Independent)
For fans of: bluegrass and country fusion made popular by the likes of Allison Krauss & Union Station, The Isaacs, and Misty Freeman.
Great to have on while: opening presents on the big day!
HIGHROAD continues to make a name for themselves with this catchy new holiday EP. This fast rising quartet’s bluegrass/country fusion sound is on full display here, especially on the memorable “I Wonder As I Wander,” “The Night Before Christmas,” and catchy “Let Us Not Forget.”
Point of Grace – Sing Noel (LifeWay Worship)
For fans of: adult contemporary and inspirational arrangements or any of the group’s three previous holiday releases.
Great to have on while: reading your advent devotions!
Point of Grace already has three very strong Christmas releases under their belt, and Sing Noel is the group’s first for choral publisher LifeWay Worship. The group’s trademark sound is ever-present on this special release, especially on cuts like “Mary Did You Know (with What Child Is This)”, “I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day,” and beautiful “See Amid the Winter’s Snow.”
Tenth Avenue North – Decade the Halls (Reunion Records)
For fans of: Christian pop heard on the radio from the likes of Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Third Day, or Matt Maher.
Great to have on while: relaxing with the family in front of a cozy fire!
Tenth Avenue North wins the award for most inventive Christmas release. Each song featured on this holiday album features a style found from a different decade ranging from the 1920s to the 2010s. A bevy of special guests make their appearance, like Colton Dixon on the 1990s look at “The First Noel,” Sarah Reeves on the 2010’s “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Britt Nicole on the 1970s “We Three Kings,” and Zach Williams on the 1950s “O Holy Night.”